People with depression to be protected against discrimination

    An amendment to give people with depression greater protection
    against discrimination under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
    has been passed, writes Amy Taylor.

    The amendment, which was made to the Disability Discrimination
    Bill in its report stage in the House of Lords, will mean that the
    effect of depression is seen as a long-term effect under the act in
    certain circumstances and increase sufferer’s protection.

    Lord Skelmersdale, who tabled the amendment, said that said that
    the change was required as people who have recovered from a bout of
    depression regularly found themselves unable to get paid work
    because of discrimination.

    The act states that where an impairment ceases to have a
    substantial adverse effect on a person’s life it is to be
    treated as continuing to have that effect if the effect is likely
    to recur. But Skelmersdale said that depression was not necessarily
    likely to recur as it did not usually have any underlying
    conditions and therefore it was excluded from the definition.

    The amendment changes the definition to state that depression
    that has ceased to have a substantial effect on people’s
    ability to carry out day to day functions should always be treated
    as if it is likely to recur if the person has had a previous
    episode of depression at this level for six months or more within
    the last five years.

    The bill has its third reading in the Lords on February


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